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expert reaction to naming of the coronavirus disease: COVID-19 and virus: SARS-CoV-2

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have announced names for the current coronavirus outbreak. 


Prof Mark Harris, Professor of Virology, University of Leeds, said:

“COVID-19 refers to the disease (coronavirus disease).  The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), the global authority on the designation and naming of viruses, have named this virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This decision is described in detail in”


Dr Nathalie MacDermott, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer, King’s College London (KCL), said:

“COVID-19 is the name of the disease or illness the virus causes. The virus has been named as SARS-CoV-2 as the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) have determined that it is the same species as SARS but a different strain of the species.”


All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink: 


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